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Trip to Chicago

NEC Student Amelia Ruff's blog post about her trip to Chicago

I would like to share with you this amazing, wonderful, even fantastic, trip that I went on! This trip fostered a new outlook on life and how to overcome its challenges. Well, let me backup for a minute. Last fall I attended a TaeKwon-Do International instructor course hosted by several GrandMasters. They came from all over the world such as GrandMaster Dalton from Ireland, GrandMaster Martinez from the Dominican Republic, GrandMaster Wadley from Texas and GrandMaster Valin from Elgin Illinois. It was such an honor to be taught by them and participate at that level. I met such wonderful and vibrant fellow peers. During this three day seminar I conversed with the GrandMasters about why I needed to vary the curriculum so I could fully participate, for example I needed to remove my Black Belt, only watch for certain exercises due to having a feeding tube and disabilities. They were very impressed once they understood. GrandMaster Valin invited me to speak at his TaeKwon-Do school to inspire his students to reach goals with perseverance. GrandMaster Valin and GrandMaster Wadley thought it would be special to share my story at the upcoming IC course in Chicago February 23rd, 24th and 25th. My family made a point to attend and help create this moment. I am very appreciative that I had this opportunity! I hope to do more events like this in the future. 

The time came to share my story. I was extremely excited and very nervous, however  a wave of calmness fell upon me and my story came with ease. I needed to rely on Google slides because I haven’t had public speaking experience before but I became fully engaged and enjoyed the audience. I also loved the two questions I was asked. The two questions were: 1) Where do I see myself in 5 years? 2) Have you thought about being a motivational speaker? I wanted to scream YES with every ounce of passion! Thank you again GrandMasters for a life changing opportunity! I hope to do similar opportunities once more for you!

I left Chicago in a different mindset for the better. I do want to do more speeches, and take the idea of TaeKwon-Do of helping your life as not just as a sport, medical benefit but as what I want to practice with purpose in various ways. I want to make an impact in the world and change lives for the better by using my passions and  knowledge which I have and continue to gain in a variety of ways. 

I’ve always had the support of my family and friends but during this trip I gained  more than skills. I got the true meaning of don’t rush your life and things will happen. You just need patience, acceptance and foundation of skills and experience to achieve certain opportunities that’s right for you. Some of your life experiences might not be in your interest but it doesn’t mean these things happen for no reason. The foundations for this specific opportunity were my special needs, TaeKwon-Do skills and my passion to help people in the way I was able to. I have the other opportunity to share this experience I had by doing blog posts. I’m not saying I necessarily want to have my disabilities but I’m trying to look on the positive sides to having my needs. 

I have also come to a whole idea that all the careers I say I want to achieve don’t need to be rigged and conformed but as uniquely individually presented. I’m rejuvenated and excited to see where my life journey takes me. 

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